August 12, 2019
Rebecca Mordechai with AP reporting
At Sunday’s U.S. Gymnastics Championships, in Kansas City, Missouri, gymnast Simone Biles, 22, won her sixth national title. And she did it in her usual boundary-breaking style. She didn’t just win. She made history by becoming the first woman ever to perform a triple-double in the floor exercise of a competition. The triple-double is a double backflip with three twists.
In fact, Biles landed two triple-doubles. The first was on Friday. But she had trouble with the landing and put her hands on the mat. She was determined to try again on Sunday. This time, she nailed it.
“It’s like she hit a hole in one and we were all there,” said Tom Forster, the U.S.A. Gymnastics high-performance director. “It’s a big deal and we all know it. . . . She should be super excited about that.”
After finishing on Sunday with a routine on the uneven bars, Biles looked relieved. She gave her coach, Laurent Landi, a high five and hugged her competitors. She’d made up for the slight stumble on Friday.
“I was a lot happier today,” Biles said. “To finally do a good routine like I can do it, I was really happy.”
Over the course of the two-day meet, Biles earned a total of 118.500 points. Her score was nearly five points ahead of the second-place winner, 16-year-old Sunisa Lee.
Next on the record-setter’s agenda are the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, in Germany, about two months away. And next year, Biles will go to the Olympics, where she is already a four-time gold medalist. The 2020 Summer Olympics will be held in Tokyo, Japan.